As already mentioned, the optional docking cradle will charge both the batteries inside the CF-H1, while also charging two spare batteries at the same time. The docking cradle also adds three USB ports - ideal for hooking up a local printer or a keyboard - an Ethernet port, a D-SUB port for connecting to an external monitor and a serial port for any legacy hardware that might need connecting. The clever thing about the docking station is that you could have several spread around a hospital that can be used as and when needed.
As with all ToughBooks, there's no set spec as such, and Panasonic's target customers are likely to want to customise their devices to suit their own needs. The spec that I have in front of me right now will set you back £1,649 excluding VAT, which doesn't seem too bad considering the design and durability of the CF-H1. And as with Panasonic's other ToughBooks, you either need a device like this or you don't.
There has been a lot of talk about bespoke IT hardware for the medical market, but very little in the way real products have arrived. Therefore the CF-H1 is a significant product that combines Panasonic's legendary ToughBook build quality, and Intel's Digital Health vision.
The medical industry relies on technology to store so much data today, so being able to access that data easily and quickly while at a patient's bedside is quite a compelling proposition. Not only does the CF-H1 provide this kind of flexibility, but it wraps it all up in a lightweight (1.5kg), easy to use and very resilient package. Will the ToughBook CF-H1 revolutionise the medical profession? Probably not, but it will certainly make the lives of medical professionals easier.